Gailur is a special collaborative project between our good friend Mikel Errasti, owner and winemaker of our Txacoli Antxiola, and a small winery in Rioja Alavesa owned by a family friend. Together they produce a range of Rioja wines that Mikel then markets himself to his clientele both in Spain and abroad. The name “Gailur” is a Basque word meaning “Peak” or “Pinnacle” which refers not only to their qualitative aspirations in this project but also to the higher elevation vineyards that are a hallmark of this sub-region in Rioja.
Of all the wines, perhaps the most exciting in the lineup is a 100% Graciano Rioja. It is rare to find this grape on its own in Rioja, as it is usually blended in with Tempranillo or Garnacha to add color, flavor and backbone to the blend. But on its own, if done correctly, the resulting wine can be full of personality!
The grapes come from a 6 hectare vineyard in Baños de Ebro with an average vine age of 20 years. Here the soils are clay driven with a touch of limestone. The clay delivers a fruit driven wine while the limestone adds a dimension of freshness and back bone. The wine is aged for 5 months in French oak, with about 25-30% new.
This wine fits into the category of “crazy good value”. The color is a deep, dark ruby, but it is the texture, ample fruit and lovely spice of this wine that make it so beguiling. It is definitely a “not to miss!”